Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A Day Trip to Finland's Island of Åland via Ferry

Monday, 5 June, 2017:

We had been invited a few weeks ago by Aiki and Lotta to join them today on a trip via ferry boat to Mariehamn, the main city on the island of Åland which is an autonomous demilitarized territory that has been part of inland since 1921.

We were also accompanied by Lotta's son Jesper and his girlfriend Lovisa.

With Tuesday being a National Holiday, many members of the Swedish proletariat, like our group, also had Monday off to give them an enjoyable four day weekend. 

We drove an hour northeast of Upplands-Väsby to the Swedish port city of Kapellskär to board the Viking Line ferry to Mariehamn. The ride through the far end of the Stockholm Archipelago would only take about two hours.

We could have journeyed via Stockholm. The Kapellskär departure site was more appealing as due to the low speed, minimal wake laws in place to maintain the environment in the much more densely packed Archipelago configuration around Stockholm, leaving from the capital city would take six hours by ferry to Åland.

We were off on another
adventure to for us a
new Baltic Sea port

Åland has had its own flag seen here since 1954.

It has also had its own stamps since 1984. I bought four of them today for traditional, snail-mail travel postcards to send to family and friends.

There are about 29,000 inhabitants on the 6,700 small islands that make up Åland's autonomous territory.

If you were wondering, the most common surname in Åland is Karlsson.

The ferry boat Rosella
was sea worthy

We descended on the ship's Breakfast Buffet like the locusts that we truly are.

It was quite good and they had Swedish pancakes even though it wasn't a Thursday!

I guess that was legal since we were in international waters.

Lovisa found a city in Finland
on this map named Lovisa

It was a bit damp when we
landed in Mariehamn

Laurie, sporting her new pink walking shoes, was undaunted by the mist.

 A memorial to Åland
sailors lost at sea

Walking along Mariehamn's

Mariehamn was founded in 1861 when Finland was a part of Russia. Approximately 11,500 people live in this coastal city.

Even though Åland is part of Finland, the main language is Swedish.

S:t Görans Kyrka
completed in 1927

St. George's Church in English.

The S:t Görans baptismal font

A ship in the church
for a seafaring parish 

S:t Görans Kyrka was quite quaint but we needed to move on as we sorely needed to both get out of the dampness and have some Fika.

This place looked promising


Too much healthy fruit on this for my taste.

Laurie and I shared an
Åland pancake


Lovisa seemed ok until . . .

. . . she realized Jesper was enjoying
eating the Fika which she
could not have

Aiki looked amused by it all.

Fully sated once again,
we were back to being tourists

Laurie loves tulips

Part of the Sjökvarteret
Maritime Quarter

Traditional wooden ship
building in progress

Old boats

More tulips

In the heart of
Torggatan street

Lots of interesting shops are found here and, more importantly, the Sun came out for a surprise visit!

With my bride on the Esplanade

Neat old home

Neater old home done in the
Viking style

So an American, a Swede and an
Estonian meet in Åland . . .

We had all walked way more than our required daily 10,000 steps and were a bit tired.

We still had about an hour before we needed to re-board our ferry so Laurie, Lotta and Aiki decided that a little Nordic style Sun worshipping was in order.

One last view of Åland

Great idea for this sea voyage/road trip Aiki and Lotta.

Lovisa and Jesper added greatly to the fun today.

Of course, Laurie being here to share the day was special!

It is on days like this where one can happily say . . .


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